Tuesday, January 23, 2018

SCU Faculty Workshop on BEAM

Framework for Rhetorical Research

Yesterday I had the chance to present a workshop for the writing faculty on the use of Joseph Bizup's "BEAM: A Framework for Rhetorical Research." We began by discussing what kinds of texts faculty used with students and what kinds of questions remained with regard how sources were being used.
I identified a couple key issues:

  • Reluctance to use sources that ran counter to their position or the sources that they agreed with (a form of confirmation bias)
  • Uncertainty of how to organize sources (chronologically?)
I presented a few examples of Exhibits ("E" of BEAM) that could help provoke research questions from students (another difficult part of the research process). They work well as a place to start for recent/relevant research because they:
  • Provide an example of what the research question addresses
  • Provoke a research question based on a broader topic

We spent a good amount of time discussing Methods ("M" in BEAM) and the extent to which students are already familiar with "guiding concepts or procedures" that provide interpretive lenses or frames for their research. Another made the point that Methods can be instrumental so that they might not need to be a source, but acknowledged in terms of discipline how they approach a topic. 

Others present discussed the benefits of setting aside time to look with librarians at Background sources, using encyclopedia databases such as Omnifile. 

I shared the Learning Glass video I did for BEAM as well as a Portland State video that someone did for BEAM (below).

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